Pipeline corrosion – Why does it happen & How to prevent it? - Edgevarsity Blog Edgevarsity
Pipeline corrosion – Why does it happen & How to prevent it?

Pipeline corrosion – Why does it happen & How to prevent it?

The most crucial sector in the world works seamlessly due to the giant pipelines underneath transporting all the materials from source to the destination. But the pipelines are subject to corrosion over a long period. 

Pipes rust or corrode due to oxidation of the metals containing iron. This happens on exposure to the natural environment. Damage caused due to corrosion in the oil and gas industry is a common and costly problem for pipes. Therefore, it becomes crucial to inspect the pipelines for corrosion and take necessary steps to prevent and restore them.

This is an important topic in oil and gas courses for mechanical engineers.

Significant causes of corrosion in Pipelines

We all know the various types of materials used for pipeline construction. One of the most prevalent ones used is the low carbon steel due to its multiple advantages. 

Low-carbon steel is the most suited for the construction of pipelines because it helps in minimizing the need for constant repairs. But, low-carbon steel, which is used to construct oil and gas pipelines, has its disadvantages.

Low-carbon steel is subjected to oxidation in the presence of air, soil and water.

Oxidation paves way for corrosion that would ultimately compromise the quality of oil and gas under transportation. 

Therefore, the low carbon steel must be covered by coatings to prevent oxidation. This is because the pipelines, in most cases, are buried under soil, which catalyzes oxidation.

You will get better insights about corrosion in pipelines in the online course for piping engineering. 

The significant types of corrosion that occur in pipelines are:

  1. Weight loss corrosion
  2. Stress corrosion or deterioration due to cracks
  3. Corrosion fatigue
  4. Galvanic or bimetallic corrosion (due to currents caused by a mixture of dissimilar metals)

Now, let’s discuss the ways to prevent corrosion in pipelines.

Ways to prevent corrosion in Pipelines

There are various ways to prevent corrosion in pipelines, such as:

Oiling and greasing

Using oils and lubrication for corrosion control in oil and gas pipelines is one method that has proven effective. Pipes can be lined with lubrication on the inside to prevent rust and corrosion.

Applying oil coating on the inside acts as an effective sealant and protection. Before use, ensure that your lubricant is safe to use with the gas that your pipeline is transporting.

Epoxy coating

Epoxy is one of the high-quality coating materials to prevent corrosion. It’s ideal for gas pipelines. 

An epoxy coating layer can be applied to prevent pipelines from corrosion. As pipelines are usually manufactured from high-quality steel, surface protection with a high-quality product is essential.

Other materials

Some different materials can also be used to manufacture parts that would be less prone to corrosion. Such materials include stainless steel fittings, metal plating, or fiberglass.

Also, where metal materials are not an option because of high corrosion potential, plastics such as polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride may be used.

Corrosion is an emerging issue, and its effects have posed a threat to the sustainability and efficiency of pipelines in the distribution of oil and gas from the production centres to the users.

Therefore, it is essential to adopt ways to reduce it from the beginning or prevent it through efficient techniques. To know more about piping engineering relevant topics, you must dig deeper. Choose the right oil and gas training courses online suitable for you.

by Debashree P

Debashree is an Aeronautical engineer by education and a curious researcher by passion. She is passionate about engineering and technology. She is an avid technology writer who has a knack for developing content for websites, newsletters, blogs, articles, advertising and marketing materials based on the requirements. Technologies of her interest include Aviation, Oil & Gas and AI.